Supporting local brands is something that I’ve become extremely zealous about. The more I learn about fast-fashion and it’s social and environmental injustices, the more emphasis I want to put on buying less, buying quality, and buying local. In South Africa, we are exceptionally fortunate to have a never ending conveyor belt of talented artisans and creatives, who are passionate about their craft. Supporting our local entrepreneurs and artisans helps create jobs, empower communities, and strengthen our economy. I’m really excited about the future of local businesses, so without further ado, here are four of my favourite local brands this summer.
Akina is an ethical and sustainable online brand based in Cape Town. Founded in 2016, Akina is swiftly taking the local scene by storm with their beautifully constructed swimwear and sleepwear pieces. But what sets them apart is their commitment to sustainable production; from their swimwear made from 78% recycled polyamide, and biodegradable pajamas made out of locally sourced cotton modal, their investment in energy and water saving measures, right down to their recycled courier packaging. This is a brand that understands that beautiful clothing does not have to compromise the environment, nor the hands that make it.
I’m a sucker for anything with an open back, but that’s not the only thing I love about this one-piece. As someone with a small upper body and a not-so-small bottom, it’s always difficult finding the perfect fit, but this swimsuit fits like a glove. With it’s double lining and adjustable straps, it’s going to be my second skin this summer. It’s also super cool knowing that I’m wearing post-consumer waste!
Pictured | The Samsara one piece
Intertwined in each Carry-Ann bag is a moving story of community upliftment and meaningful exchange. Carry-Ann was established earlier this year after founder, Inge Viljoen, and her husband discovered a community weaving work group while on holiday in Mpumulanga. Amazed by the group members’ skills, Inge was inspired to create the Carry-Ann bag. Working closely with the group members, Carry-Ann has transformed the simple grass basket to a high street handbag. The bags are individually handwoven which means each bag is unique with a distinct feel. Now with five popular styles, the Carry-Ann bag showcases the excellent talent this country has to offer, and proves why we need to support local. This symbiotic relationship between the brand and the work group has provided a reliable income for the group members and allowed for expansion of the group, employing more people from the local community.
Pictured | The Lola bag, limited addition
Inspired by the Turkish coastline and the restoration of the Turkish loom, Summah amalgamates Turkish lifestyle with the summer culture of Cape Town through luxurious 100% cotton towels and summertime essentials. Although not produced locally, South African entrepreneur and founder, Kirsten, resides in between Istanbul and Cape Town, working closely with a small Turkish business from which she sources a curated collection of versatile summer and bathroom towels, decorative throws and supreme quality robes. These are products that will last a life time.
Pictured | The beach towel in Stone
Hannah Lavery proves that fashion can be sustainable with their refined womenswear clothing line. Designed and produced in Cape Town by a group of local women, this slow-fashion brand exemplifies quality over quantity through a carefully curated collection of trans-seasonal versatile basics. Classic meets contemporary with neutral colours and subtle shapes, made with care from natural fabrics adding to the clothing’s unique aesthetic.
These Jump Pants are so light and comfortable, making them perfect for summer.
Pictured | The Jump Pants2